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Union considering next move over Kinleith

Union considering next move over Kinleith

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union is considering its next move in the wake of a decision by the Employment Relations Authority over redundancies at the Kinleith pulp and paper mill.

The union had asked the authority for orders for compliance regarding 36 redundancies at the mill near Tokoroa. The union was concerned about the process mill owner Carter Holt Harvey used to select the workers to be made redundant.

In a just-released decision, the authority refused to order the company to withdraw the redundancy notices, but found that CHH breached its statutory and contractual obligations, and has ordered the parties to use mediation to establish the process necessary to go forward. It has sent the parties to mediation and ordered the company to hand over relevant information from the assessment process.

Union advocate Mike Sweeney said it was a shame that the issue had ever got to court.

“It’s always difficult with urgent hearings to ensure that all the facts are clearly laid out,” he said.

“We are surprised by some of the factual findings and are taking advice as to the legal implications of what we perceive to be errors in the decision.”

The union would, however, prefer to resolve the issue by agreement with the company rather than through the courts, Mr Sweeney said.

“This is another example of Carter Holt Harvey’s inability to resolve problems on site by talking and listening to its workforce,” he said.

“We are now evaluating all the options and consulting with workplace delegates on where we go from here.”

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